Discussion: Our Favorite Music Of The Year (So Far)

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1 hr 11 min 56 sec
 
Clockwise from upper left: Kishi Bashi, Simone White, Bobby Womack, Aleksa Palladino of Exitmusic, Sinead O'Connor.

hide captionClockwise from upper left: Kishi Bashi, Simone White, Bobby Womack, Aleksa Palladino of Exitmusic, Sinead O'Connor.

Courtesy of the artists

This week on All Songs Considered, co-hosts Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton are joined by NPR Music's Stephen Thompson and Ann Powers to take a step back, catch their breaths and consider the past six months of music. They share their favorite new artists, biggest surprises and favorite albums and songs from the first half of 2012. The biggest surprise of the year? Bob is into a Swedish pop song with the line, "You're from the '70s / but I'm a '90s b——."

Second to Bob's unexpected pop pick: the heated discussion of Carly Rae Jepsen's sugary song of the summer, "Call Me Maybe." This week's show features a batch of poptimistic, feel-good songs, as well as a few tracks better heard alone in a dark, quiet room. These favorite songs of the year aren't necessarily delicately crafted; particularly awesome is Japandroids' rebellious "Fire's Highway," with a shout-to-the-heavens chorus and brash guitar and drums. Bob and Robin's favorite new artist of the year so far, Kishi Bashi, uses layers and loops to create a radiant, uplifting soundscape in "Bright Whites."

Another theme of the year seemed to be artists who've been around for a while, like Sinead O'Connor and Bobby Womack, as well as triumphant comeback albums like Fiona Apple's The Idler Wheel...

You can hear the entire discussion above and check out full versions of each track discussed below.

Discussion: Our Favorite Music Of The Year (So Far)

Cover for 151A

Kishi Bashi

  • Album: 151A
  • Song: Bright Whites
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  • "Bright Whites"
  • Album: 151A
  • Artist: Kishi Bashi
  • Label: Joyful Noise
  • Released: 2012
 
Cover for Threads

Now, Now

  • Album: Threads
  • Song: Thread
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  • "Thread"
  • Album: Threads
  • Artist: Now, Now
  • Label: TRANS RECORDS
  • Released: 2012
 
Cover for Look Out Mama

Hurray For The Riff Raff

  • Album: Look Out Mama
  • Song: Born to Win (Part One)
 
Cover for Celebration Rock

Japandroids

  • Album: Celebration Rock
  • Song: Fire's Highway
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  • "Fire's Highway"
  • Album: Celebration Rock
  • Artist: Japandroids
  • Label: Polyvinyl
  • Released: 2012
 
Cover for How About I Be Me (And You Be You)?

Sinead O'Connor

  • Album: How About I Be Me (And You Be You)?
  • Song: I Had A Baby
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  • "I Had A Baby"
  • Album: How About I Be Me (And You Be You)?
  • Artist: Sinead O'Connor
  • Label: One Little Indian
  • Released: 2012
 
Cover for The Idler Wheel...

Fiona Apple

  • Artist: Fiona Apple
  • Album: The Idler Wheel...
  • Song: Hot Knife
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  • "Hot Knife"
  • Album: The Idler Wheel...
  • Artist: Fiona Apple
  • Label: Epic
  • Released: 2012
 
Cover for I Love It (Single)

Icona Pop

  • Album: I Love It (Single)
  • Song: I Love It
 
Cover for Sweet Heart Sweet Light

Spiritualized

  • Album: Sweet Heart Sweet Light
  • Song: Hey Jane
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  • "Hey Jane"
  • Album: Sweet Heart Sweet Light
  • Artist: Spiritualized
  • Label: FAT POSSUM RECORDS
  • Released: 2012
 
Cover for Passage

Exitmusic

  • Album: Passage
  • Song: City
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  • "City"
  • Album: Passage
  • Artist: Exitmusic
  • Label: Secretly Canadian
  • Released: 2012
 
Cover for What We Saw From The Cheap Seats

Regina Spektor

  • Album: What We Saw From The Cheap Seats
  • Song: Small Town Moon
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  • "Small Town Moon"
  • Album: What We Saw From The Cheap Seats
  • Artist: Regina Spektor
  • Label: Sire/WEA
  • Released: 2012
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Cover for The Bravest Man In The Universe

Bobby Womack

  • Album: The Bravest Man In The Universe
  • Song: Please Forgive My Heart
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  • "Please Forgive My Heart"
  • Album: The Bravest Man In The Universe
  • Artist: Bobby Womack
  • Label: XL Recordings
  • Released: 2012
 
Cover for Call Me Maybe [Single]

Carly Rae Jepsen

  • Album: Call Me Maybe [Single]
  • Song: Call Me Maybe
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  • "Call Me Maybe"
  • Album: Call Me Maybe [Single]
  • Artist: Carly Rae Jepsen
  • Label: Interscope
  • Released: 2012
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Cover for Adventures In Your Own Backyard

Patrick Watson

  • Album: Adventures In Your Own Backyard
  • Song: Adventures In Your Own Backyard
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  • "Adventures In Your Own Backyard"
  • Album: Adventures In Your Own Backyard
  • Artist: Patrick Watson
  • Label: Domino
  • Released: 2012
 
Cover for Silver Silver

Simone White

  • Album: Silver Silver
  • Song: Big Dreams and the Headlines
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  • "Big Dreams and the Headlines"
  • Album: Silver Silver
  • Artist: Simone White
  • Label: Honest Jon's
  • Released: 2012
 
Cover for The Only Place

Best Coast

  • Album: The Only Place
  • Song: The Only Place
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  • "The Only Place"
  • Album: The Only Place
  • Artist: Best Coast
  • Label: Mexican Summer
  • Released: 2012
 

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What We Saw From The Cheap Seats

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  • Album: What We Saw From The Cheap Seats
  • Artist: Regina Spektor
  • Label: Sire/WEA
  • Released: 2012
 

Sweet Heart Sweet Light

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  • Album: Sweet Heart Sweet Light
  • Artist: Spiritualized
  • Label: FAT POSSUM RECORDS
  • Released: 2012
 

Threads

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  • Album: Threads
  • Artist: Now, Now
  • Label: TRANS RECORDS
  • Released: 2012
 

151A

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  • Album: 151A
  • Artist: Kishi Bashi
  • Label: Joyful Noise
  • Released: 2012
 

The Idler Wheel...

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  • Album: The Idler Wheel...
  • Artist: Fiona Apple
  • Label: Epic
  • Released: 2012
 

Passage

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  • Album: Passage
  • Artist: Exitmusic
  • Label: Secretly Canadian
  • Released: 2012
 

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